Pete Yorn Is Thinking Of: Fender Rhodes

Pete Yorn has been surprisingly prolific of late. Consider that it was three years between his sophomore outing, 2003’s Day I Forgot, and 2006’s bracingly eclectic Nightcrawler, the latter largely restoring the potential of his brazenly accomplished out-of-nowhere debut, 2001’s Musicforthemorningafter. Another three years between releases, and Montville, N.J.’s favorite boho chick magnet suddenly had a lot more to say. Last year saw the release of Back & Fourth, followed by Break Up, a wispy collaboration with Scarlett Johansson inspired by Serge Gainsbourg’s duets with Brigitte Bardot. Now Yorn has ditched his smokin’-hot muse for Frank Black, who encouraged the confessed perfectionist and overdub junky to strip away the studio varnish and rawk out for the new Pete Yorn (Vagrant). Yorn will be guest editing all week. Read our Q&A with him.

Yorn: I have this olive green Fender Rhodes Student model from the late ’60s. It was a present from an ex-girlfriend, who got it for me at the old Black Market Music on La Cienega. I miss that place. The tone of the Rhodes is so unique, so smooth. You hear it on a lot of great old jazz recordings. And it looks like something out of The Jetsons. At one point they started producing these Instructor/Student models for music classrooms. The idea was a classroom full of electric pianos, everybody playing and listening on headphones, and there would be one model for the teacher, who could turn a dial to listen to any one student separate from the others and play along with them, send backing tracks to their headphones or connect multiple players to play together. Jetsons indeed! I don’t know that all that many were made, so it’s amazing to have this in my home for working out melodies and new songs.

Video after the jump.